Google said the end was nigh, and now the time has finally come to say goodbye to Chrome support for a number of legacy operating systems, including Windows XP. Version 50 of Google’s browser recently rolled out sans support for Windows XP, Vista, and all versions of Mac OS X under version 10.9, Mavericks.
Google first announced that it would be dropping support for XP and Vista in November. If you’ve already got Chrome running on any of the legacy systems, you’ll still be able to use it. What you won’t get any longer are new feature or security updates.
The story behind the story: The most notable support loss with Chrome 50 is Windows XP. Google continued support for the aging OS because of its large user base for two long years after Microsoft tossed it to the web’s wolves. The company also saw XP support as an opportunity to convince IT organizations to move away from Internet Explorer to Chrome. “If you’re an IT administrator...you can use Legacy Browser Support to set Chrome as the primary browser and limit the usage of the unsupported, legacy browser to only specific web apps,” Google said in a blog post in late 2013.
If you’re on a legacy operating system it’s inadvisable to continue using Chrome—especially if any of your other browsers are still receiving updates. (Though if you’re still using XP, Chrome’s lack of support might not bother you since your OS doesn’t receive security updates either.) Mozilla's Firefox browser still supports all the operating systems Google dumped in the latest Chrome update.
Google first promised to extend support for Windows XP in October 2013—six months before Microsoft would end support for XP. At the time, Google said it would support Chrome until at least April 2015. As of mid-April, an estimated 181 million PCs worldwide were still using XP.